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Technology Transfer and Me

“Technology transfer” means the transfer of new technology from the originator to a secondary user, especially from developed to less developed countries in an attempt to boost their economies.

But in this post, it means “all of the hoops I had to jump through to transfer my iPhone contents to a new iPhone.”

Some Background

My ex, her daughter, and I all have iPhones, for which I am paying. My stepdaughter is in a situation where she can no longer use hers, and so my ex returned it to me so that I can cancel the account and—we hope—no longer have to pay for it.

That was some 3 months ago.

This morning it dawned on me that (1) my 16 Gb phone is always running out of space, and (2) her 32 Gb phone has the amount of memory I should have gotten for myself, and (3) it would make sense for me to start using the iPhone with the greater memory.

And so began my journey through purgatory

Actually, it wasn’t that  bad. Just terribly time-consuming.

I had previously reset the phone, clearing all personal data and returning it to its factory-fresh state. When I put it on the charger to check the battery level, it automagically went into setup mode, the first step of which was updating the operating system to the latest iOS version. No problem—except that it took nearly an hour to complete.

Did I mention that I worked on Apple’s iPhone help desk on the day it was first released? We had had two weeks of intense training about how to handle calls, and how to distinguish calls that could be handled by Apple and calls that should be routed to AT&T—the only carrier originally. We also had no idea what the iPhone even looked like, secrecy was that strict.

Anyway, after 8 hours of handling calls, all of which were of the AT&T variety, only to have AT&T route them back to us, I went home, drank an Irish coffee, had a nervous breakdown—and never went back to the job.

So yeah, I know what frustration  is.

The Next Phase

After the iOS update, it was time to do the same with all of the apps on the new phone. The initial setup had copied over the icons for the apps on the old phone, but none of the applications themselves. That took another hour.

Finally, there was the matter of actually launching the apps and having to key in userids and passwords. That ate up another 30 minutes, because I had to look them all up on the other phone. I mean, who has memorized userids and passwords for all of their accounts?

And What’s My Takeaway From all This?

It’s quite simple: whenever you buy a new device, make sure it has enough memory. Think you need 32 Gb on your iPhone? Get 64. My new iPad was 128 Gb, and I’m already wishing I could have afforded more.

Here’s the rule of thumb when it comes to memory: however much you have is never enough.

Thanks for stopping by.

Robyn Jane

Stop Saying Suicide Is Cowardly

This is going to piss off a lot of readers, but I don’t care. The people it will piss off are the ones who have already pissed me off by their uneducated, ignorant claim in the first place.

The first thing I’m going to say that will piss them off is this:

If you have never been plagued by depression, or never watched a loved one crippled by this disease, kindly shut the fuck up.

I can’t state this enough. You have no business pontificating on a subject about which you know nothing. And by making your statement, all I hear is, “I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m going to give you my opinion anyway, because I know more about it than you do.”

I hate to burst your bubble, but here’s an uncomfortable truth: People with depression don’t want to die!

People with depression don’t want to die!


Here’s the thing: on both occasions I tried suicide, it wasn’t because I wanted to die; I simply wanted the pain to stop. I was in a place where I could no longer think rationally. After all, do you really think that if I could see any other solution I wouldn’t have chosen it instead?

And that, dear friends and critics, is the difference between my depression and your “sanity:” the inability to think clearly and rationally. Did I really want to die? Did I consider how my death would affect my family? My friends?

Of course I didn’t: I was so overwhelmed by my depression and its pain and agony that I was incapable of any thought at all, much less rational thought.

Was I a coward? Or was I in a state where suicide was my only rational choice?

Do you see the contradiction here? That I was in such pain that I was incapable of clear, rational thought that to me, suicide seemed to be the only rational solution.

Unless you’ve been there, you won’t understand. And being there, you don’t see any other solution. Which is why depression can so often be a fatal disease.

So before you call suicide “Cowardly,” or “The easy way out,” or any other stupid thing, stop and think: what would you do if you saw no other way out of a soul-deadening, horrifying life of agony, with no hope of improvement?

One more thing: there’s a reason J. K. Rowling modeled the Dementors on her own depression.


No Time for Novels?

The Guardian recently published an article claiming that

When our daily news is apocalyptic, it’s irresponsible to read made-up stories. It’s time to start reading the serious stuff instead.

Go ahead and read the article. This post won’t make sense otherwise.

This was my initial response on Facebook. Why Facebook? Well, that’s where I discovered the link to the article.

Nonsense. What better time to use one’s imagination than during a crisis? It was a lack of imagination that created the crisis in the first place, or more to the point, a lack of understanding possibilities.

Tom Clancy wrote about a 747 crashing into the Capitol building years before 9/11. In fact, after that tragedy, intelligence experts interviewed Hollywood writers about possible similar events.

The discussion on Facebook turned out to be just that: an actual discussion as opposed to the usual “You doodoo head! You don’t know what you’re talking about!” free-for-all insult exchange that usually passes for discussion on Facebook.

By the time I had finished reading the entire thread (as of 8:30 this morning), I was more convinced than ever that we absolutely need fiction now more than ever before.

(By the way, the Clancy novel I referred to was Debt of Honor. Like all of Clancy’s works, it can be summed up with a quote from the late Ronald Reagan: ” A good yarn.”)

To write at all you’ve got to be creative. To write fiction you’ve got to have a plot. And to write good fiction, you’ve got to have a good imagination.

Last night I watched The Fellowship of the Ring on Netflix. Sure, I had seen it before, but this time, watching the Orcs tearing down trees and creating a barren wilderness where there once was beauty, my own imagination immediately saw a connection between those scenes and Donald Trump’s slash-and-burn, scorched earth approach to the environment.

From there, my mind jumped to Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of The Lorax, and once more I wondered why people who insist on poisoning the air and water, destroying forests, and levelling mountains in the name of profit have the nerve to call themselves conservatives. Just what the hell are they conserving? Wall Street?

You know Tyrannosaurus Rex was destroyed before
By a furry little ball that crawled along
The primeval jungle floor
He stole the eggs of the dinosaur
CLOSE YOUR EYES & CREATE THE SOUND
OPEN YOUR HANDS & REBUILD THE GROUND
We are egg snatchers –
flashin’ sunshine children
Bunch of diamond thieves
Mau Mau (Amerikon)

Paul Kantner wrote that song back in the ’70s for the very first Jefferson Starship album, Blows Against the Empire.

Our own empire is falling all around us while the Emperor plays not the fiddle but the back 9 at his golf resort, and all of his sycophants exclaim over how lovely his new clothes look. The barbarians are not only at the gates but they have actually broken through and are now looting the nation’s treasury.

Will we survive? Can we survive? Or will some future Edward Gibbon chronicle these days as The Decline and Fall of the American Empire?

Or is this just a prelude to the decline and fall of Western civilization?

Frustration is…

…Trying to Provide Tech Support to Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Learn Anything

My landlord Ed is a pretty intelligent guy. My rent includes free Internet, so from time to time I have no issue helping him with his computer. But usually the first I’m aware that he’s having an issue is when I hear him downstairs, screaming at his computer.

The latest problem began when one of the agencies he contracts with for jobs told him the reason he was having problems logging into their billing system was that he needed to empty his cache and clear out all of his cookies. So he did, only to discover later when he tried to answer a call on Skype that deleting the cookies broke Skype. He could see and hear the caller, but the caller neither saw nor heard him.

Robyn to the Rescue!

Except Robyn has never used Skype, and so knows absolutely nothing about how it works (Coincidentally, my ex texted me a couple of days ago asking for help with Skype.)

Okay, okay. I can take a hint. I guess I’ll have to learn how to use Skype. But so far as Ed’s problems go, well, I’m running Windows 10 and he’s still on Windows 7. So I’m worried about possible compatibility issues between the two versions of Skype.

A Learning Disability?

Can the fact that someone refuses to learn anything new truly be considered a disability? Because this, more than anything, is Ed’s problem: he doesn’t want to learn anything new. He has his own ideas about how programs should run, and gets frustrated and angry when they don’t fit those preconceived notions.

I once considered recommending he get a computer where everything works the same way (Macintosh), but then I realized that would mean having to learn new things.

Peace and Quiet

Ed’s pretty quiet now. At least he’s not screaming at the computer any more. So I’m going to take the opportunity to sneak back upstairs and learn how to use Skype.

Because I don’t know if it’s truly quiet, or if this is the calm before the storm.